Car Spotting at the Optima Invitational

While it’s normally all about the racing, the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational brings out the best cars to ride on two wheels. Some coming from SEMA while others are competing that day. Here are some of the select cars from the OUSCI.

While most of the cars at the OUSCI are street driven works of art that also happen to race. Some of the cars that show up at the Optima Invitational aren’t part of the race groups. Of all the diamonds that show up to be driven hard, many more show up to spectate or be part of the show in the vendor row or are the cars the drivers use daily or even monthly. Here are the standouts I found while walking around the OUSCI at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

ICON Derelict Rolls Royce

Some call it sacrilege, I see it as a car that needed more power from the factory. However, this Rolls Royce Silver Cloud built by ICON 4×4 has a LS7 swap under that split hood. The patina has been left as is because it’s part of the Derelict series of cars they are building. Behind that seven-liter GM mill is a 4L85E automatic and the original chassis has been modified with an Art Morrison chassis front clip with an IFS front end and coilovers, rack-and-pinion steering, welded in a four-link rear suspension with coilovers attached to the Strange Engineering nine-inch rearend to the back half of the original chassis, and Brembo/ICON 4×4 six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers with a hydrobooster. The car now weighs in at 4040-pounds over the 4500-pounds it originally came in at. Oh, and no more Lucas Electonics.


Code Name Keanu is now the Ronin Falcon

Jeff Allen from Flat Twelve Gallery wanted to take a 1963 Ford Falcon and mate it to a modern 2014 Mustang GT. While that would seem impossible to most builders, Jeff made it happen. The totaled Mustang was stripped of all its usable bits, including the interior, and melded into the 1963 Falcon chassis. Upgrades were made as well like the Baer Brakes 6S six-piston front and rear calipers, Hotchkis Suspension, Roush Supercharger, 275/35ZR18 Nitto NT05 tires on Forgeline GT3C wheels, and a custom Griffin Radiator.

Unfortunately, the hood had to be cut to fit that massive Roush Supercharger, but that does make it look just a little more rowdy, too.


Rally Ready Fiesta

This 2016 Ford Fiesta ST from Tucci Hot Rods surprised the hotrod and tuner world all at once when the renowned builders of Mustangs, Cadillacs, and Model As came out with this rally inspired build at SEMA 2016. It’s even more rally looking thanks to the set of decals it now sports over that PPG Pure White and custom widebody treatment. A KC HiLites Flex lightbar beams light into the farthest reaches of the road while the custom carbon fiber headlights show the way when needed. Forgeline CF1 wheels are covered by a set of Falken Azenis RT615K all around in 255/40R18.

Under those CF1s are a set of Wilwood six-piston brakes with matching rotors. A HPTuners custom tune controls the engine while a Racepack IQ3 informs the driver of all needed data while running the cones or the racetrack. Speaking of the engine, it also features a Full Race turbo kit with a Borg Warner turbo and custom made Borla Center Exit Exhaust system. The Ultimate Performance dampers with remote reservoirs are built by JRi Shocks. A form-fitting bolt-in cage keeps the driver and passengers safe along with the Sparco Pro 2000 seats and five-point harnesses.

Georgia Gold and a Zooid

This truck just showed up to Las Vegas Motor Speedway to be picked up by the fleet vehicle carrier and I was just able to snap up these pictures before he had to load it up. This is the 1940 Ford pickup known as “Georgia Gold” built by Bryan Fuller for the SEMA Show. It features a Ford 302-cubic-inch V8 (no Chevy or LS-swap here) with an Edelbrock intake manifold and a Holley 650 carburetor. The Independent Front Suspension (IFS) front end is on a RideTech air suspension system with a Flaming River rack-and-pinion moving the front wheels and Coker Firestone tires. Getting this Ford to a stop is a set of Wilwood disc brakes. The Magnaflow exhaust exits out a custom side panel on both sides of the bed.


There are so many amazing details made into this truck. From the wild looking headlight design to the pinstriping to the grill to the sprint car wide-five hubs and custom wheels to fit them. In every picture I took, I found more and more with this build that I came upon by chance. Pure chance and nothing more. I could only imagine what I wasn’t seeing, an Art Morrison chassis with a custom four-link rear with a Tiger magnesium quick change rearend.

The Zooid bike is a Honda-powered custom made by Zeke and his father, Patrick DeZeeuw, after coming up with a trade with Bryan for a Lincoln Electric welder. According to Byran’s blog, the “lime fire green paint was chosen by Bryan to pay homage to Pete Chapouris of SoCal Speedshop.” By the way, Zeke is only 14-years-old. What a chance of a lifetime for someone of that age.

There was so much more there, but I couldn’t stick to this topic forever. We still had to get to Shelby American and finish out the competition.

Stay tuned for as OUSCI takes over Shelby American and we’ll wrap up OUSCI Coverage on Friday.


Car Spotting at OUSCI Gallery

Justin Banner

Justin Banner, Lead Editor and Founder of Carbage Online, has been involved with the automotive media and industry in many capacities and now tackles publication ownership with CarbageOnline.com. Prior to that, he has freelanced for top online publications of modern media that include Speedhunters, MotoIQ, Super Street Online, Hot Rod Magazine and many others. All due to his nearly 20 years experience as a mechanic, service writer, and technical support in the automotive industry. Justin is also a Journalist Level member of the Motor Press Guild - an industry recognized entity of professional automotive journalists - since 2015.